Six Questions That Will Radically Change Your Marriage

Life is busy. Trish and I used to think that the “next” season of life would be less hectic, less stressful, less busy than our current season. Life doesn’t seem to get less busy with time; it only picks up steam.

It is easy to go days, weeks and even months without intentionally connecting with your husband or wife. You live in the same house, but stop sharing life together. It’s gradual. It’s incremental. It happens to the best of marriages.

What if you could help your marriage be more about relationship and less about business?  It’s easy to know our spouse’s schedule and forget about their  heart. These six questions will recalibrate your marriage.

1. How can I serve you this week?

You want to capture the heart of your spouse, ask this question on Sunday night. It’s easy to focus on our to-do list. We have plans; we have deadlines; we have obligations. But we open up a new level of intimacy in our marriage when we ask our spouse how we can place their needs ahead of our own.

2. What has you stressed or anxious?

Is there a question that communicates care and concern more than this question? When you ask this question, you are inviting your spouse to be vulnerable with you. You are also communicating to them, “You’re not alone. I’m in this with you.”

3. What is the most important thing you need to accomplish this week?

Unspoken expectations are always unmet expectations. Most of the conflict we experience in marriage derive from unmet expectations. If you know what your spouse needs to get done in a given week, you can be an ally for them in that process. I always appreciate when Trish asks me this question. It let’s me know that she is interested in the details of my week.

4. What can we do to grow closer to God this week?

Busyness is often the biggest obstacle to intimacy with God. When my life gets busy, the first thing I give up is time with God. It is sad, but true. As a husband and wife grow closer to God, they grow closer to one another. Maybe there are spiritual connections you’re not making with one another simply because you’re not asking this question.

5. What are we doing on our next date night?

If you don’t plan a date night then you probably won’t have a date night. For us, Fridays are days we have off and our kids are in school. On Thursday, one of us will ask, “What do you want to do tomorrow?” It helps us be intentional about making one another a priority.

6. How can I pray for you?

Our prayers are the most intimate conversations we have. We share parts of our heart with God that we don’t share with anyone else. When we invite our spouse into this part of our lives, we exponentially grow the intimacy level of our relationship.

So often we think it’s something BIG that will give us a great marriage. The truth is, it is a few small things that will make a HUGE difference. Take 30 minutes, ask your spouse these questions and see if you don’t see a few changes in your marriage this week.

What questions would you add to the list? 

18 Responses to Six Questions That Will Radically Change Your Marriage

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  3. Red

    My husband has had a rough 12 months and has battled at times to control negative thoughts and depression. Because its sometimes hard to ask for help, or even admit to needing it, and because life with a bunch of very young children gets busy and you can’t always find a spare uninterrupted hour or two of alone time to be deep together, we have developed a kind of code. If I suspect all is not ok, I simply ask him, “how are u going, 1-10?” Because we have spent time being honest about this and talking, crying, praying, hugging, this is ok. Recently we were on holidays with friends and his mood was off, melancholy and inactive, so I asked him while we were doing dishes, with kids and friends coming and going and he was able to reassure he was ok without worrying about lack of privacy. Other times he’s been able to simply answer “3” without having to voice the words “I’m not ok” or “I need help”. Then I can follow it up with “what can I do?” Or “can we pray” etc.

  4. barbara

    Please notify me of new posts by email. Thank you!

  5. Shirley Filar

    diane1230, linton, and others: What each of you wrote. resonates in my heart and mind. I knew the betrayal of abuse as a very young child, but blocked it out of my mind. I married a gentle man but not a believer and havde two precious daughters and 12 blessings of grandchildren. My marriage ended after our second marriaage to each other and our second divorce in only four years. Let me say clearly to you: ti had absolutely no

  6. One point about date night – “one of us” saying “what do you want to do tomorrow?” takes the pattern of traditional dating out of date night. I hate to stereotype, but women typically love being asked out and some love being taken out and planned for. I know when my husband comes home on date night and says, “What’s the plan?” it is the least romantic question ever. Couples need to talk out what their expectations and needs are for date night, and be specific about why they do date night.

  7. diane1230

    The one that “bugs” me (& it’s me, not y’all) is “how can I serve you this week?” Is there a different word for serve we can use? Something about that word just makes me shutter & if I’m trying to help my husband, I don’t need to bring my own issues into a question. Serve in this sense always makes me feel inferior. I’m not going to be able to help him if I don’t even want to utter the question. Does that make sense?

    • A

      I get what you’re saying, Diane. Perhaps another way to ask it would be, “what do you need me to do for you?” It seems a little less vulnerable but could accomplish the same goal. We always have the choice to fulfill or not fulfill but I think it would help us to get to know each other better by finding out what they actually need from us rather than assuming we know. I’m bad about thinking I know what he needs rather than asking.

      • No, I think there is great value in using the wording “serve you”. It’s wonderful biblical concept that depicts the way we are to treat other people.
        Philipians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

        We are to consider ourselves last, not just in marriage but in any interaction, we serve Christ first, then others and sacrifice our own desires and needs before considerations of self. You use the language of serving others because we are not to consider ourselves as better or even equal, but think of others as more significant. The passage in Philipians goes on to talk about the example Christ gave, 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

        • A

          Hi Linton,

          I totally agree with what you say. When you’ve been betrayed, especially when it is fresh, it is hard to know whether you love your spouse, much less serve them. Heck, it’s hard to even know what love is. Everything is redefined. When we’re in the throws of the pain of betrayal, we just need to do what we can to move forward and for everyone that is going to look different. Again, just trying to offer a ray of hope to diane1230 because she asked.

          • Well, I realise that betrayal can make things harder emotionally. I had not really considered that as a scenario to be honest. So what I say now is harder to accomplish than it is to say, but I’ll put it out there for consideration. When we say things like “we are not sure we love the person after a betrayal” and “not even sure what love is anymore” I think we reduce the idea of love to an emotive visceral response to someone, and their actions. If Christ loved us that way, we would be in trouble. He loved us despite our actions, and even in the midst of betrayal he still worked out and displayed that love. I don’t know what would happen if my wife betrayed me, I suspect I would struggle to love her (without any grace extended to me by the holy spirit)… I’m not sure if I would go so far as to say you are not sure what love is anymore. I would suggest at that point we are more accutely aware of what love ISN’T, consequently being able to more clearly see what love is… because we know it isn’t (insert example of betrayal). So, I think I can agree that “loving” the person that betrays you must be way harder, but this is why theology matters. Our understanding of Love should be that it is not just emotive, but a decision and an action, and that ultimately we only love others because we love Christ because he first loved us. So our response to the betrayer should be motivated by our love for Christ, because we still love Him… and can thereby (by grace) still love the betrayer. Does this make sense? All of this would be impossible without the spirit, and not easy even with that grace extended to us. which is where the body of Christ would come in to help and counsel and guide and support. I talk a big game, but I sincerely pray that I am not faced with a situation where I can be revealed as a hypocrite.

          • Bob

            I know how you feel for I was there as well. Maybe the difference is I chose to forgive and to love. It was hard to trust at first but as the years went by it became easier to trust. Today she is my best friend as well as my wife. You can chose to forgive and begin to grow again. God bless.

        • Ashley Trowell

          This is a reply to linton’s post above and below. I want to point out that linton was humble enough to admit he has no experience with betrayal, and that he wouldn’t want to be in that situation and be shown to be a hypocrite. Similarly, I’m unmarried, and have no personal experience with this difficult issue.
          As you say below, betrayal does make marriage harder, but, as you say, those are the exact terms Christ was under when he came to love the church. In Hosea, it illustrates the intense betrayal God feels from his people when they disobey by comparing it to adultery, prostitution, whoredom, etc. In short, God has felt very betrayed by us, and continues to love us. And it’s God’s love that marriage is intended to display to the world.
          Try to cling to things like ‘serving.’ Try to figure out Jesus’ attitude in the serving while mistreated situation.
          MOST IMPORTANT: Understand that marriage done right is impossible without intense help from God. The exhortations about marriage in Eph 5 Follow a command to be filled with the spirit, and precede commands to put on the armor of God. Marriage is an intense spiritual test, so be ready to pray hard.
          I’ll pray for healing and strength for you. God will bless your efforts.
          Love to you in Christ.

  8. I love all of these. The only one I think my husband wouldn’t respond super well to is the one about growing closer to God. He’s kind of at odds with God right now…and doesn’t seem to want to be any different. Or maybe he does. I don’t know. He’s mad at God, so the thought of getting closer to him is kind of, “Um…no.” BUT…thank you for this! I will do these!

    The only other question I would ask is, “How are you doing, really?” That kind of goes with #2. And I don’t know if it would really change a whole lot…but it would hopefully lead to talking!

    • Deanna

      Aw, Angie, I hear ya. I’m in the same boat right now.

      So, note to bloggers who write about marriage – remember that many, many people are married to people who are spiritually dry or angry or something, and please remember us, too!
      Thank you!